Fiction, Weirdness


YOU HAVE A PRIVATE MESSAGE FROM NATALIE FRITZ, said the subject-line of the first email.

“Hey Stranger”, Natalie began. “A friend of mine told me I can easily find someone in my area.” Blah blah portfolio blah blah call me yadda yadda discreet sexual encounter in hotel room. Five lines to get to the point. I clicked on the accompanying link more out of habit that actual interest, and moved on to Jackie Cassell, and Francesca Valdez, and Brittany Eyman. Tough to pick, all their profiles had an airbrushed, unimaginative similarity that screamed eager-to-please. Boring.

Francesca’s blunt “Let’s fuck like rabbits” helped. I wrote three lines – nothing too flashy, nothing that reeked of formality. A mild compliment, a Seinfeld reference in the second line (Seinfeld always gets them, somehow), and ending with a casual “let’s meet around five, take care”. Hit send. I figured it would take her about an hour to respond. She sounded a one-hour type, just like Kylie from last week, and Vivian and Jessy. There was this one – what was her name again, Corina? Clarissa? Yes, Clarissa – who responded in thirty minutes, the current record. I liked Clarissa, we shared a lot of discreet hotel time that week.

One email from drugsonline_258 and another from Lin Courtney. I checked my Cialis stock just to make sure I have enough to last next week. Wrote a polite “hey-what’s-up” to drugsonline_258. Dougie – that was his name, a college drop-out with a T1 line, a heart of gold and a a steady supply of the good stuff – Doug the Dog made a point of offering great discounts to valued customers. I was one of them and I liked to keep up the personal relationship. You really have to admire a guy who knows how to maintain his customers’ inches-to-height ratio, if you know what I mean.

I didn’t respond to Lin – her last batch of MAX-Gentleman pills arrived two days too late, and she did not include the complimentary stash of Viagra that she promised.

Four mails from Nigerians. Henry and his friends, Christ. I took charge of Henry’s money a year ago. With a twenty percent commission, which was way less than the de facto thirty-five percent others charged. Twenty percent of his Swiss stash of two million dollars still made for a pretty chunk of pocket change, and my goodwill gesture was telegraphed to the rest of his countrymen, just like I hoped. Every other week, some oil prince or junior minister sent in a polite, awkwardly worded missive, full of detailed family histories and apologetic explanations and a seven-figure amount. I kept my replies short and my percent constant. I liked Henry and his pals. And other than a few nervous calls from Chase Manhattan about the frequent wire transfers to and from my checking account, things are fine.

The iPad offers are getting tiresome. Sure, they’re a dollar each, but not sure if I should get myself another one of those. Some site tries to scam me into spending $4.99, some spiel about matching 10% of retail price. Good luck finding a sucker, buddy.I send them crisp “Not interested” one-liners, the same that goes to the $800 VIP casino prizes, the holiday deals, the work-from-home offers. Too many of them with too little money, and I don’t have the time.

Francesca’s reply arrived just as I was done with my last email. Two minutes shy of Clarissa’s half-hour record. I texted her on the number she sent me, and got up to make myself some coffee. I glanced at the email from my my brother, and another from Jonathan from my old work-place asking how I was doing. I deleted them right away. I don’t have time for spam today.


One thought on “Hello

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.